Advice for Flying with your Cat

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When you fly with your cat, make sure to do a lot of preparation before you head off, so everything goes smoothly.

One month before your anticipated travel departure, you should call your travel agent or airline and reserve a space. Also double-check on your airline’s pet carrier and pet policies, because you don’t want anything to surprise you at the last minute! Test out your cat carrier. Make sure your cat has enough room in it, and be sure that it can breathe easily. Before you take off on a plane, you should do short car trips with your cat in its carrier, so it gets used to the motions.

If necessary, you should go to your vet and get all necessary documentation. Health certificates and vaccination records could be necessary, depending on where you are traveling and what the airline policy is. If you feel it is necessary, pick up some sedatives. Some cats will be fine in this situation, but others will freak out, and you don’t want your cat making everyone’s ride miserable (crying babies are bad enough!) Have the health certificate within easy access, not buried away in a suitcase.

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You should purchase a cat collar, and put on an ID tag. You can buy a leash and harness if you feel that is necessary. For security purposes, you should list your name, phone number, address of home and the phone number and address of the city you are going to. Take a photo of your cat and keep it within reach, in case anything happens.

You should feed your cat about six hours before you go to the airport. You should bring aboard a bottle of water, some dry food (wet food smells really bad and you don’t want to annoy anyone) and liners for the cat carrier. Before you go to the airport, you should put on the cat’s collar, and harness and leash, if necessary, before you put it into its cage.

When you arrive at the airport, check in at the main counter, and then go to security. You can remove your cat from the carrier when you walk through the metal detector. Never put the cat through an X ray machine.

During the flight, try to keep the cat in a relaxed temper. Try to pet it through the openings of its cage. When you land, wait until everyone exits before you get up and go.

If you must travel with your cat as cargo, you should call in advance to see if there are any special requirements for this method. Watch your cat getting loaded and unloaded. Planes are less crowded in the middle of the week, as opposed to weekends, so this is the best time to travel. Don’t make plans to do this during very hot or very cold weather. Let a flight attendant know your cat is traveling as cargo.

Tips for Traveling with Your Rabbit

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If you are staying with family or friends on your trip, make sure in advance that no one is allergic to rabbits. If your rabbit is not used to car rides, and you are going to go on a long trip, you should train for it in advance. You should do small trips to start out with, and then gradually go on trips that take more time. If it’s hot out, don’t leave your rabbit in the car for extended periods of time.

In terms of choosing a cage to take your rabbit, the best cage to take is your rabbit’s one at home or another small rabbit cage. It will like to be comfortable, like being in its usual surroundings. If you want to get a new cage for the trip, you should get your rabbit used to it first, such as having it stay in the cage for short periods each day.

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You should pack with you: water bottles, food, water, hay, garbage bags, vinegar for cleaning, newspapers, paper towels, whiskbroom and dustpan, Laxatone or Petromalt (for hairballs), enzyme powder (for their stomachs), Pedialyte (to prevent dehydration), ice packs, towels and medical supplies (like eye droppers, if necessary). You should also have handy a health certificate and veterinary records in case any emergency situation should arise and you need to board your rabbit. You should also write your phone number or the phone number of a friend with a non toxic marker on your rabbit’s ear in case it escapes.

When you are in the car, be aware that rabbits do not have good tolerance for heat. If you don’t have air conditioning, you could put cold, wet towels on its cage. Rabbits do not like drafts, so don’t put them where the heat or air conditioning will be blowing on them. It is better to feed them during breaks rather than while you are driving, and try to stick to a routine if you are driving for a few days. Make sure carriers are securely strapped down so they can’t slide around. Keep an eye on their water bottles to make sure they aren’t dripping out.

If you are going to stay in a hotel, make sure they are pet-friendly first. You should keep your rabbit in its cage, and only take it out for exercise in the bathroom. You should also hang a “Do Not Disturb” sign on your door so that no one startles your rabbit. Don’t leave the rabbit alone for long periods of time, as it might get nervous.

Click here for some additional advice.

Six Essential Pet Travel Accessories


So you’re taking Fido on a vacation. What’s next? Check out our favorite pet travel accessories so you can rest easy knowing your pet is comfortable, safe, fashionable, and probably a little spoiled.

Pet Travel Bowls
Your dog or cat is going to have to eat and drink at some point, but those big plastic bowls can really take up a lot of packing space. Behold: the amazing foldable, nylon, pet travel bowl! These bowls are not only durable and easy to clean, but they also fold up neatly. This is a must have pet travel accessory, even for t a trip to the dog park!

Pet Carrier
You’ve probably seen an enormous variety of pet carriers ranging from the high-end designer carrying bags to sensible crates for airline and car travel. You can spend as little or as much as you like (the possibilities are endless!) but we highly recommend purchasing one for any pet. Carriers help keep pets safe during travel and are required for flights. Which reminds us…

Dog Seat Belt
This one might seem a little silly, but you might have a dog that hates being crated. Having your pet in the car is an inevitable scenario for most pet owners and slamming on the breaks, bumps in the road, and high speeds are dangerous for our furry friends. Pet seat belts help keep dogs where they belong: buckled in tightly!

Seat Covers
Back in the car again. You simply can’t put your dog in the car without getting a seat cover. Minimize damage done to your car, and clean up by placing a seat cover where your dog will be traveling. It will maximize the life of your car and make your life a whole lot easier.

Ramps and Stairs

If you have an elderly dog or cat (or perhaps just a teeny tiny one) you may be utilizing ramps and stairs in and around your home. Don’t forget that while traveling those same issues apply! Bringing steps or ramps to help your dog or cat get where they need to be can be very helpful. Ramps can be great for getting in and out of tall cars too. It’s good to know that the latest ramps and stairs also fold up quite nicely to maximize space!

Something Familiar
Travel can be stressful for some pets, so do your part in making it an enjoyable experience. Bringing a bed, toy, or something familiar from home can make all the difference. This one’s easy–just throw it in the back seat!

Do Dogs Get Poison Ivy? & Other Outdoor Concerns

With the onset of nice weather, taking your dog into the wilderness can be extremely rewarding. With all the sensory stimulation the outdoors provides, you’ll see a side of your pet that you might not have witnessed before. Watching him fully engaged, tail wagging, nose to the ground and in the air, prancing back and forth with his tongue lolling is an experience we recommend to every dog owner.

However, you definitely need to be prepared. There are obviously more dangers in the woods and fields than there are just walking him around the neighborhood. For example, what about hazardous plants? Can dogs get poison ivy? Well, the basic consensus is that they are pretty much protected by their coat. The toxic substance in poison ivy and poison oak is urushiol, which is an oil resin. Since dogs mostly come in contact with it by rubbing against it while walking, it will adhere to their coat but won’t touch their skin. It can then however be transmitted to humans if they touch or pet the dog. If you’re in an area and you see poison ivy, it’s best to rub the dog thoroughly with a towel and, if possible, shampoo him with an oatmeal based shampoo. If you do see that your dog has a rash in an area with no fur, you should have him examined by a vet.

Don’t Try This at Home: Our brave CEO Smudge Kingsley doing the “Poison Ivy Test”. Or maybe he’s just happy. Or nuts.

Other things to think about when going into the wilderness with your pet:

  • DO NOT take your dog off the leash. Even if she is well-trained and obedient, she might fly off at the sight of another animal and get lost in unfamiliar surroundings.
  • If you’re camping, most campgrounds that accept pets require them to be on a 6-foot leash. Many will not allow them to sleep outside and require them to be in a crate or in the tent.
  • Even when leashed, never leave your dog unattended. There’s always the possibility of an unpleasant encounter with other animals or travelers.
  • As discussed, find out about hazardous plant life in the area–not only poisonous but other plants–like cactus–can physically hurt your pet.
  • Be vigilant in checking your pet for ticks, foot injuries and dehydration. Give her fresh drinking water and don’t let her drink from questionable sources found in the wilderness.

Above all, have fun! Though there are dangers, if you’re properly prepared. the rewards outweigh the hazards.

Memorial Day Pet Travel Tips

dog_travelMemorial Day is just around the corner and you may be thinking about getting “outta’ dodge” for a while. As a dog owner though you have to think about what you are going to do with your furry friend. Traveling with a dog can be fun, provided you are well-prepared for the adventure. Here are a few things to remember before hittin’ the road:

Identification

Make sure your dog has all the right tags. Losing your dog on your trip does NOT make for good holiday memories. Consider getting a microchip, a tiny chip that is implanted into your dog by way of an injection. If your dog is found, she can be taken to just about any vet, and they can scan the chip and locate her for you.

Packing

Don’t forget to bring the necessities: leash, food, water bowl, dog bed, doggie bags, crate, dog bed, any medications and a few toys. You want your dog to have fun and be comfortable too. That’s the whole point right?

How will you travel?

By air? By Car? Although I don’t suggest flying with your dog, it can be done. Some airlines will allow you to bring your pet on the plane with you if the crate is small enough to fit under the seat. Otherwise, dogs are considered “cargo” (how rude!) and stored accordingly. If you are planning on traveling by car, just make sure your dog is accustomed to the car. If your dog has anxiety in the car, traveling with her may not be a good idea.

Lodging

Gotta’ love trends. Dogs have become so popular that there are a large number of hotels that will put your canine friend up for the night. Some hotels even have a doggy room service menu, turndown service and/or doggie day care. Make sure to get the specifics on what they offer. Also, make sure you find out what the fees are. Sometimes there is an initial “deposit” as well as a daily fee for your pet lodging.

In case of emergency

In the same way you prepare yourself for any medical emergency on the road, prepare your dog too. Bring medical records with you and a list of veterinary services in the area.

You and your dog can have a fantastic summer holiday. Just make sure to be prepared and get ready for a great family weekend!